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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of New Mexico
For Immediate Release
Alexander M.M. Uballez, United States Attorney
Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Previously Convicted Felon Sentenced to 9 Years in Prison for Federal Drug Trafficking, Firearms Offenses

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Alexander M.M. Uballez, United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico, and Brendan Iber, Special Agent in Charge of the Phoenix Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, announced today that Gabriel Villasenor was sentenced to a term of 115 months in prison. Villasenor, 29, pled guilty on Sept. 2, 2022, to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.

According to court documents, in May of 2021, Villasenor drove his co-defendant, Gabriel Blea, to a meeting which Blea had set up in exchange for payment. With Villasenor’s knowledge, Blea had set up a deal to trade approximately half a pound of methamphetamine for five firearms. Unbeknownst to Villasenor or Blea, the other parties in the transaction were undercover agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Blea arrived at the meeting location with the methamphetamine in a backpack and a loaded .45 caliber pistol in his waistband. Agents took Blea into custody at the scene, but Villasenor attempted to flee on foot before he was apprehended.

Villasenor was previously convicted of unlawful possession of a handgun by a person, resisting/evading/obstructing an officer, receiving or transferring a stolen vehicle, possession of methamphetamine, attempt to commit a felony, to wit: felon in possession of a firearm, trafficking by possession with intent to distribute, and possession of a controlled substance. Villasenor was on state probation at the time of these events.

Blea pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, being in possession with intent to distribute 50 grams and more of methamphetamine and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime on July 13, 2022. On Dec. 9, 2022, Blea was sentenced to 15 years in prison followed by 5 years of supervised release.

Upon his release from prison, Villasenor will be subject to 4 years of supervised release.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the FBI Albuquerque Field Office investigated this case. Assistant United States Attorney Jaymie L. Roybal prosecuted the case.

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